More and more of us are backing football as an agent for social change because we see its potential value for the development of the most disadvantaged people and groups. At Santander, we call this transformative power "Football Can", a concept that covers the initiatives that contribute to social progress with the help of the beautiful game.
Once again this year, we were sponsors of the World Football Summit, an encounter that brought together many leading figures from the world of football, including footballers, coaches, and chairmen of national and international clubs and leagues. This year it was held in a fully digital format. The participants and attendees took part in the event virtually, due to the health crisis affecting the planet.
At Santander we wanted to make the most of this opportunity. That’s why, at the round table we organised entitled “Football Can: the positive impact of football on society”, we chatted with Ronaldo Nazário and Juan Mata, two role models both on and off the playing field, about the fundamental role football plays in society; particularly regarding such major challenges as those we are currently experiencing amid the coronavirus crisis. The effects of this pandemic are hitting the most disadvantaged groups, making it difficult for them to access material resources and the support and assistance they need to avoid catching the virus. Therefore, more than ever before, people who love football have joined forces at events such as the World Football Summit, the proceeds of which will go to foundations led by both sportsmen.
Ronaldo Nazário, the ambassador for our global sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, is the creator of Fundaçâo Fenômenos, a foundation set up in 2012 with the aim of providing support to those who need it most. With the same aim, and with strong support from more and more professional footballers donating at least 1% of their salary, Juan Mata co-founded Common Goal. This charity’s projects include its covid-19 Response Fund, in which Santander is taking part, to mitigate the devastating effects of the socio-economic crisis arising from the pandemic.